At Rendon Center, our board-certified dermatologists help our patients manage their plaque psoriasis. Management of symptoms and triggers is the key, as there isn’t a cure for psoriasis.
One of our most effective treatment options is XTRAC laser therapy. We’ve found good success reducing psoriasis plaques with these FDA-approved light therapy treatments.
What is XTRAC Laser therapy?
The FDA approved the XTRAC laser for psoriasis therapy in 2009. The XTRAC is a small handheld device that we use in our 13th Street offices. The laser concentrates a single band of ultraviolet B (UVB) light on psoriasis lesions. The light penetrates the outer epidermis and breaks the DNA of the T cells, which are the cells that have multiplied to create psoriasis plaques. The XTRAC uses a 308-nanometer wavelength that has proven effective for psoriasis.
What are the benefits of XTRAC therapy?
The two main benefits of XTRAC therapy compared to other modalities are these:
- Shorter course of treatment — Treatment varies with the patient, but at Rendon Center we’ve found the XTRAC delivers results more quickly than other forms of light therapy. Many patients will notice a significant improvement in symptoms in 10-12 treatment sessions.
- Less UV exposure — XTRAC provides very targeted treatment, accurately targeting psoriasis plaques. This means the patient isn’t exposed to the UV radiation across larger areas of the body. The shorter treatment times mentioned above also reduce exposure to the UVB radiation.
XTRAC laser therapy also seems to create longer remission periods between outbreaks in many patients.
What happens during an XTRAC treatment at Rendon Center?
When we feel XTRAC therapy would be right for the patient, we explain there is a time commitment involved with successful treatment. Patients will need to receive these treatments two to three times per week, with at least two days in between sessions. Each laser session takes about 10 to 20 minutes. Most patients see the first signs of improvement within their first four to six sessions. Clearance of their plaques comes in from 10 to 20 treatments.
There isn’t any preparation necessary, and these are not painful treatments. When we move the small XTRAC handpiece over the plaques in the target areas, you will feel a warm sensation. This isn’t painful.
There isn’t any recovery after your XTRAC session. You can get right back to your normal activities.
How does the XTRAC laser work on vitiligo?
Vitiligo is a skin condition that creates patches of depigmented skin. As with psoriasis, XTRAC has proven to be very effective for treating vitiligo. The same advantages hold true with XTRAC vitiligo treatment — faster treatment times, long-term resolution, no recovery, and faster results. When treating vitiligo, instead of targeting plaques, the areas affected by vitiligo are targeted. This can reverse the condition, leading to gradual repigmentation of the affected areas.
What kind of results have been shown with XTRAC?
Prior to gaining FDA approval, clinical studies with XTRAC reported that 72 percent of participants experienced at least a 75 percent clearing of psoriasis plaques in an average of 6.2 treatments. About half of participants had at least 90 percent clearance of their plaques after 10 or fewer treatments.
What are the risks involved with XTRAC treatment?
These are very low-risk treatments. After all, this is simply delivery of light energy onto the psoriasis plaques. UVB is the form of radiation in sunlight that is responsible for sunburns. About half of patients will have some redness after their treatment. There is also a possibility of blistering, itchiness, and an increase in pigmentation, but these are quite rare.